This past Monday we had a very productive meeting at the HMS Beagle store in Parkville. In attendance were 4 Longview College students, as well as John (Beagle), Vince (MakeKC), Fred and Richard (Moon Glow), Trevor (Blue Valley HS), and myself. The discussion was truly interesting as the it ranged from alternate ways to keep the payload package warm,\; to countering spin; what goes in the payload box; weight considerations; placement of the antennas; how the telemetry works, and so on.
Fred explained that the weight limitations and package specifications were based on FAA rules and guidelines. Additionally we will have to issue a general aviation bulletin about the balloon to alert aviators in the area.
With regard to keeping things warm Fred is testing how much heat the radio transmitter gives off and if enough we will design a package that snuggles the batteries around the transmitter to stay warm. This will save us a few ounces by not having to use chemical handwarmer packets.
The students and Trevor left the meeting with enough information to work on prototypes of the payload box based on some specifications Fred gave them. The Engineering club meets twice this week and the guys seemed to think they could work out a design. This may be a whole club project or just involve some of the students from Longview. Probably a similar situation for Trevor. Either way the students will learn from the experience.
Plans call for a meeting next Monday(9/19) at 6 to look at the prototypes. I will, by then, have the angle setting for the Canon camera so we will work on the actual payload box that evening as well. The goal is to have the payload box built and ready by a meeting the following Monday (9/26).
At that meeting we will confirm launch location and the logistics involved with tracking and recovery.
I am meeting Dan at the Planetarium Friday afternoon to see how the images and videos will look on the dome.
Questions to be resolved in addition to the construction are basically about launch day.
One suggestion was to launch from Blue Valley where Trevor teaches. That is more or less southwest of the metro area and would afford an easily accessible location for the launch. Presumably prevailing winds will carry the balloon eastward across the city.
How do we track the thing balloon?
what is needed to follow the signal in the tracking vehicle(s)?
Input is welcome
We are looking good guys folks! T – 15 = launch